By 1988, Suzanne Eaton was already venturing into her second scientific field, and to say that was an accomplishment is an understatement — because even decades later, the statistics surrounding women in STEM are disheartening.
Suzanne Eaton was a pioneer, and she worked nonstop to improve her field. She received distinguished achievements and awards for the work that she conducted, and she dabbled in a lot of different spaces.
As if all of that wasn’t amazing enough, she also had a black belt in Taekwondo, was a talented chef and musician, and was a dedicated runner.
A later statement from her sister said that Suzanne was the truest example of Jane Austen’s definition of an accomplished woman.
Suzanne Eaton was a real woman who truly was this accomplished — and two of her distinguishing traits ultimately resorted in her demise.
Where is Suzanne Eaton?
On the day that she disappeared, Suzanne Eaton was at a conference.
She was not just attending this conference.
In fact, a couple of days after her disappearance, she was scheduled to lead a lecture on some of her recent research about how certain molecules could influence embryonic development in fruit flies.
Suzanne inspired everyone around her, and her already established career was growing by the day. When she went missing, it wasn’t just her family or friends that felt it. It was the colleagues and students and everyone in her field who lost an inspiring scientist and mentor.
Suzanne was the kind of woman who listed Spock as a role model because of his unique ability to empathize without necessarily feeling directly for the person. She believed he demonstrated how anyone can use a rational approach to understand what they have never experienced and what it might mean to someone else.
With a wealth of knowledge and so many amazing abilities, it was hard for anyone to imagine the kind of person who would want to hurt her, but someone did.
After entertaining guests in the lobby of the hotel by playing piano, Suzanne decided to go for a run. At least, that is what the police assumed, because when Suzanne disappeared, the only missing item was a pair of running shoes.
She did not take her wallet. She did not take her phone.
Police assumed that she went for a run, and her killer’s story would ultimately support this.
A few years ago, there was a day-long Twitter explosion of women runners sharing their disturbing stories about men following them, abductions, and assaults.
It isn’t a secret that running alone as a woman is dangerous, which is why so many women take precautions. Some women carry whistles. Others carry pepper spray. Some share their location with a friend or relative so someone knows where they are.
There are so many steps that women take.
Not running at the same time every day. Not following the same route more than once or twice a week.
These are all active steps that women runners take when they head out just to ensure that their quest for health and personal achievement does not turn into being kidnapped or followed home.
Suzanne never came back, and for well over a year, she was a missing person.
Then, they found her.
A Hidden Bunker
Two locals on the Greek Island of Crete, where Suzanne was on the day of the conference, walked into a cave.
This was not just any cave.
In fact, this was a cave that had actually been turned into a Nazi bunker during World War II. When she was discovered, the police were called and the investigation into her death begin.
In the cave, Suzanne was found tucked beneath a wooden pallet.
At first, police assumed that she must have been looking for shade and fallen or succumbed to the heat instead. Someone wanted to believe that she ended up under the wood pallet in an accidental way, but the autopsy would raise new suspicions.
The results revealed that Suzanne Eaton died from asphyxiation — and it did not seem like her death was accidental.
The police investigation began, and before long, police were questioning potential suspects.
One of those suspects was a man named Giannis Paraskakis, who broke down while in police custody. This man, who was only 27 at the time, admitted to killing Suzanne.
According to this murderer, he repeatedly hit Suzanne with his car while she was near the road. After rendering her unconscious, he decided to abduct her. This man took Suzanne to the cave/bunker by loading her into his trunk.
When he took her into the bunker, he assaulted her. He seemed to imply that she was alive when he left, but he remembered grabbing her by the neck. The details he provided don’t seem to suggest that he thought she would make it out alive. As we know, she did not survive the violent assault.
When he told the police about the encounter, he explicitly stated that he was just looking for someone to have sex with and saw her running on the side of the road.
What makes this even more disturbing was the fact that this man — who was also a father of two and married — had been in trouble for this before. Suzanne wasn’t the first woman that this guy hit with her car, but we can all hope that she will be the last, because, unlike last time, the police did something about it.
Suzanne’s killer was put in prison and will be there for a very long time.